Technology, Top News

BA grounds flights for its traditional yearly IT outage

‘They’ve got the same system we’ve got over here but the little difference is it keeps glitching’

IT’S BEEN another morning of chaos for passengers at London’s Heathrow Airport after another IT glitch has hit the aviation industry.

The problem, which began on Wednesday night and mostly affected short-haul flights were attributed to a “supplier IT system”.

Things were already fraught at Heathrow because of a fire alert at the control tower Wednesday afternoon which cause the grounding of flights for several hours.

British Airways (BA), which has borne the brunt of the computer freakout, said that there would be knock-on delays, which is something of an understatement with some passengers saying their delay could be up to 15 hours.

BA said in a statement: “An issue with a supplier IT system was resolved overnight. We are doing everything we can to keep any knock-on disruption to our services to a minimum.

“We have apologised to our customers for the delay to their travel plans.”

BA was hit by a similar issue in May 2017 which saw 75,000 passengers stuck during a bank-holiday weekend after power supply problems, which turned out to be a contractor turning off the wrong switch.

Passengers questioned how this occurred, given a promise last time that it would never happen again, made by the company’s chief executive.

It’s not currently known what sort of IT glitch it was, and whether there were malevolent actors involved. No, Alan Rickman. The other kind of malevolent actor.

No other airlines are thought to be involved with Virgin Atlantic gleefully confirming it was unaffected.

Some questioned the wisdom of letting flights take off on time leaving passengers who had already been stranded for 12 hours waiting on and fuming. This is, of course, standard practice in real life – BA won’t be wanting to create even more angry passengers to add to their statistics.

Though relatively rare, glitches like this one can have huge knock-on effects for airports where planes have slots as short as two minutes to avoid everything going south. Figuratively, obviously. 

In 2016, BA was again at the centre of an IT outage, this time at check-in desks where pen and paper saved the day. μ

Source : Inquirer

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